ROME — Pope Francis reaffirmed the fundamental right to life of unborn human beings in an address Monday to members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See.
In his address, the pope touched on several crises “that were provoked or brought to light by the pandemic” in order to find ways of building “a more humane, just, supportive and peaceful world.”
In the first place, the pandemic “forced us to confront two unavoidable dimensions of human existence: sickness and death,” Francis said. “In doing so, it reminded us of the value of life, of every individual human life and its dignity, at every moment of its earthly pilgrimage, from conception in the womb until its natural end.”
The pontiff lamented the exploitation of the coronavirus pandemic to push for presumed rights such as “reproductive rights” at the expense of the basic right to life.
“It is painful,” he said, “to note that under the pretext of guaranteeing presumed subjective rights, a growing number of legal systems in our world seem to be moving away from their inalienable duty to protect human life at every one of its phases.”
Each human person “is an end in himself or herself, and never simply a means to be valued only for his or her usefulness,” the pope said. “Persons are created to live together in families, communities and societies, where all are equal in dignity.”
“If we deprive the weakest among us of the right to life, how can we effectively guarantee respect for every other right?” he asked.
Ten days ago, the U.S. Bishops forcefully condemned President Joe Biden’s reinstatement of taxpayer-funded abortions around the world.
“It is grievous that one of President Biden’s first official acts actively promotes the destruction of human lives in developing nations,” stated Archbishop Joseph Naumann, chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop David Malloy, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace in a statement.
“This Executive Order is antithetical to reason, violates human dignity, and is incompatible with Catholic teaching. We and our brother bishops strongly oppose this action,” the bishops state.
In late January, Biden signed an executive order allowing U.S. taxpayer funds to be sent to organizations that both “promote and provide abortions in developing countries,” revoking the life-saving Mexico City policy, the Bishops noted.
The overturned policy had separated abortion from family planning activities and “ensured U.S. taxpayer dollars only went to organizations that agreed to provide health services in a way that respected the dignity of all persons,” the bishops observed.
“We urge the President to use his office for good, prioritizing the most vulnerable, including unborn children,” the bishops added, urging respect for the dignity of every human life, “beginning in the womb.”
“To serve our brothers and sisters with respect, it is imperative that care begin with ensuring that the unborn are free from violence, recognizing every person as a child of God,” the bishops conclude. “We hope the new administration will work with us to meet these significant needs.”
The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is an abominable crime and a sin so grave that the harshest punishment the Church imposes — automatic excommunication — is attached to it.
The Church also teaches that Catholic politicians have a “grave and clear obligation to oppose” any law that promotes abortion.
A Leading African bishop — as well as numerous other Africans — also criticized Biden’s decision to funnel taxpayer dollars to finance abortion around the world.
“Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes,” said the head of the West African Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, citing the Second Vatican Council.
“As Bishops, we have always reiterated that abortion is a direct attack on life that also wounds the woman and undermines the family and above all, it offends God,” he added.
According to Nigerian human rights activist Obianuju Ekeocha, a biomedical scientist, in their efforts to impose an abortion culture on the whole world, those in the West care little for what Africans themselves want.
“It is time for the international community to listen to the voices of the African people and to desist from pushing abortion on them,” she states.
Funding abortion in Africa is part of a larger war on the African people, she argues.
“Western nations, organizations, and foundations wage war against the bodies of African women” in a frontal attack on “female fertility,” she says.
“The insistence on reducing the population of Africa, no matter what the cost to the Africans themselves, is racism, imperialism, and colonialism disguised as philanthropy,” she states.